Current Courses

Course image From Correlation to Causation: Understanding the 2021 Nobel Prize
Spring 2022

Christian Ochsner, Ph.D.

Did you know that men who shave their beards every day live longer? This statement is true in terms of a correlation, but there is no causal relationship at all. In fact, empirical research in economics and social sciences faces the challenge of distinguishing correlation from causation. The course introduces concepts of causal analysis in a non-technical way. These concepts were awarded the 2021 Nobel prize in economics. The main focus will be on research settings or design. Figures and graphs will help to train students to understand the intuition behind the respective concepts. We will read and understand research papers in the field of long-run development and political economy that focus on specific concepts of causal empirical analysis.

Course image Introduction to Data Science
Spring 2022

Vahan Sargsyan, Ph.D.

This course provides an introduction to data science as a profession and focuses on the theoretical methodologies of the most widely applied machine learning models. The main topics covered include: data preparation (data mining, cleaning and exploring strategies), statistical modeling with the application of appropriate machine learning methodologies (data segmentation, predictive analytics, recommendation systems), and mathematical evaluation.

Course image Financial Markets
Spring 2022

Gabriela Kuvikova, Ph.D.

This course aims to provide a basic understanding of today’s changing landscape of financial markets and institutions with a broad scope and emphasis on general principles. Students will study the key fundamentals of financial markets and learn how financial markets and financial institutions work. We will discuss interest rates and their role in valuation, learn about efficient market hypothesis and exchange rate determination, explore money and capital markets, identify various players in the financial institutions industry, and take a closer look at risk management in financial institutions.

Course image Health Economics
Spring 2022

Eva Hromadkova, Ph.D.

This course provides an introduction to Health Economics. As suchit will cover the production and demand for healthcare, how the determinants of demand and supply affect the costs of various types of healthcare services, and the individual, family, and market investments in health. The field uses the tools of microeconomics and econometrics to examine both theoretically and empirically a number of topics, including the role of health insurance, healthcare in developing countries, and risky behavior.

Course image Labor Economics 2
Spring 2022

Mariola Pytlikova, Ph.D.

The aim of the course is to guide students through economic analyses of the labor market and provide them with the fundamentals of labor economics. Among other topics, we will study important contemporary economic issues including differentials in the labor market by gender and ethnicity, worker discrimination, sources of income inequality, minimum wages, unions and wage bargaining, worker mobility, and immigration policies. The course will combine theoretical concepts, empirical evidence, and empirical approaches, including the use of econometrics tools in labor market economics. We will discuss the importance of particular important labor market institutions and policies, explain the motivations for their establishment, and we will apply labour economics to explain and empirically evaluate the labor market effects of institutions and policy changes. Critical discussions about public policy designs will be encouraged.

Course image Education Economics
Spring 2022

Miroslava Federicova, Ph.D.

The human capital of the population is a key determinant of labor-market success and economic growth. This brings the economics of education to the core of understanding individual and societal economic prosperity. 

This course introduces students to the key concepts and major issues of economics of education, placing emphasis on current empirical research in the field. Topics include: the basic theory of investments in education (human capital theory) and the role of early childhood education; the returns to education and the empirical problem of disentangling the return to education from the return to innate ability; the role of class size, peer effects, and school expenditure, etc. After the course, students are expected to be able to read, understand and discuss current research in economics of education, as well as to contribute to the discussion about the current challenges in education.

Course image Energy Economics and Climate Policy
Spring 2022

Silvester Van Koten, Ph.D.

Energy is a basic necessity of daily life and vital input to the industry in any society around the world. New technologies, especially renewable power generators such as wind and solar are changing the industry. Also, new climate policies have a growing influence on the economics and practical functioning of energy systems, especially the electricity industry. 

Firstly, the course aims to give a deeper theoretical insight regarding economic externalities (such as global warming). A number of the classical economic instruments are presented, such as Pigovian taxes, cap-and-trade programs, subsidies, and mandates. The theory addressed has broad applications, also in the field of public finance and public policy. 

Secondly, the course addresses the experiences so far in the electricity industry that have been affected by the new technologies and climate policies, especially in the EU and California. It will focus on new empirical data and new theories to explain them. Students will also gain knowledge to appraise the effects (the challenges and opportunities) climate policy will have on the electricity industry.

Course image Development Economics
Spring 2022

Martina Miotto, Ph.D.

The goal of this course is to expose students to the newest developments in applied microeconomic research in development economics, particularly policy-oriented research. The topics covered will be especially close to the research agenda of the recent Nobel Prize Winners in Economics: Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo, and Michael Kremer. A further focus of the course is on the study of infrastructure, firms and labor markets in developing countries. Overall, the course offers a thorough understanding of current-day research in development, with a special angle on poverty reduction and private market policies. The goal is to enable students to identify promising research questions in these fields (e.g. for future studies), and to help students prepare for a career as a practitioner in government and non-government development organizations.

Course image Behavioral Economics
Spring 2022

Darya Korlyakova, Ph.D. student

The course aims to acquaint students with the basics of main behavioral theories and empirical methods commonly used to test theoretical predictions. The knowledge obtained from this course may be useful in future careers as well as in personal life (e.g. to deal with self-control problems). The tentative list of topics includes: reference-dependent utility, biases and heuristics; intertemporal choice; social preferences; the economic psychology of incentives; attention; and information acquisition.